Why are some countries putting use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on hold and should we be worried? Not quite. Here is all you need to know

Ever since the vaccines for the COVID-19 have been developed by several companies across the world, the anti-vaccine lobby has gone into overdrive to spread propaganda against vaccines. The latest victim of this is the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine against Coronavirus, the administration of which was suspended in Denmark and Norway over its alleged link with blood clotting.

Concerns were raised after a person in Austria was diagnosed with blood clots and had died 10 days after taking the vaccine. Subsequently, more people who had taken the vaccine were diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). As a result, some European countries including Denmark, Norway and Iceland decided the halt the administration of the vaccine among their citizens.

Apart from them, Italy and Austria have suspended the use of vaccines from certain batches, after people who had received vaccines from those batches developed the blood clotting condition. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg have also suspended the use of the same batch as Austria.

However, now the European Union has come forward to clear any apprehension about the vaccine, and it has said that there is no link between the vaccine and the cases blood clots. “There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine,” the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday. The agency further added, “The vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing.”

The EMA said that so far 5 million people in Europe has received the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine, and only 30 people among them have reported the blood clot condition. This rate is not higher than the natural rate of occurrence of blood clot among people. AstraZeneca has also assured that its vaccine is safe, as it was approved by regulators after it had passed stringent efficacy and safety tests.

An official of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the UK said that blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon, and it is not caused by the vaccine. It is notable that blood clotting is not listed as known side-effects of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Canadian health authorities also have ruled out any link between the vaccine and blood clotting. They have said that only a small number of people have reported the condition, which is normal given the scale the vaccination drive.

As millions of people are given various COVID-19 vaccines across the world, it is evident that hundreds of them will suffer from some or other conditions. And it will be attempted to link those conditions to the vaccines, which may not be correct.

Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine is also been administered in India, as it is one of the two vaccines approved in the country. In India it is manufactured by Serum Institute of India, and is marketed under the brand Covishield.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia